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nick faldo

Nick Faldo: ‘Nobody is really interested’ in LIV Golf

Sir Nick Faldo cast doubt over the future of LIV Golf as the PGA Tour and the PIF look to join forces and the six-time major champion identified some elements of the breakaway tour that "wouldn't have been Faldo back in the day"
 

Sir Nick Faldo thinks LIV Golf won’t survive the proposed merger between the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

Speaking at The Belfry as the British Masters host, Faldo said he disliked the rebel tour’s team format – as well as the lack of atmosphere and star names on its roster.

Greg Norman, LIV CEO, vowed the league would forge on despite Rory McIlroy’s desire for it to “go away”. Now Faldo has doubted its existence in the near future.

Faldo said professional golf was in “a pretty darn good place”, but the six-time major-winning icon doubted LIV’s popularity and its ability to attract a strong mainstream audience on television.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to play that (LIV Golf format) because with 54 holes, driving to the first tee in a London taxi, you’ve got some lovely lady playing the violin before you tee it up,” Faldo said in Sutton Coldfield. “I’m not sure that would’ve been Faldo back in the day.

“There’s only half a dozen guys that are really current – half the field I don’t really know and half the field are there for the very nice last-place money if you shoot 20-over.

“I didn’t feel it was competitive and I think they will suffer with atmosphere, and they have, haven’t they? They’re all big brands and you’re being told that only 20,000 people saw you – they’d rather watch Penn and Teller doing magic tricks.

nikc faldo

“It disappeared in a way, which you can do in golf. You disappear for six months and golf moves on and all the tours move on. I never felt it was me.

“I don’t think so,” Faldo added when asked if LIV will survive as a concept. “Because nobody is really interested. They’re not going to get the sponsorship as they thought.

“They call it ‘team golf’, but it’s not a team is it? Because it is stroke play. You see your mates on the putting green and you say ‘play well’ and you see them in the scorer’s tent and say ‘what did you shoot?’

“That’s it. A team is out there helping, shoulder to shoulder, that’s a true team. I don’t get that part. You’ve got the ultimate team event in the Ryder Cup, you know the passion and the atmosphere of that, they’re not playing with the same passion and atmosphere as the Ryder Cup.

“I thought it would really dwindle away because it didn’t have the public interest globally, as it is very small isn’t it?”

Before the start of LIV’s second season, the league struck a TV deal with the CW channel in America.

LIV Golf reported positive viewing figures at Mayaboka in February, despite initial reports claiming World Funniest Animals, also a show on the channel, drew a larger audience in the same week.

When Faldo stepped away from broadcasting duties for CBS 12 months ago, he ruled out a move to what he described as the ’54-tour’. LIV managed to recruit NBC and Golf Channel’s David Feherty.

Having 43 professional wins to his name, Faldo wishes golf’s new entity could branch into new areas of the world and believes each organisation is primarily focused on the sport’s well-being.

“I think the bodies have all got the best interest in trying to create global golf, and if they are truly on board, with a bottomless pit of money they should be able to make the call,” he added.

“I’d love them to expand into different areas. South Africa, Australia have struggled. Australia has always struggled hasn’t it? I used to love playing in those places. 

“I was one of the few guys who did genuinely play a world tour back in the day. Seve played, Pricey, Greg did. We went everywhere, all four corners of the world. Those tours really miss out.

“I would love to see that.  I would love to see them be keen on golf globally – give everyone a chance to play and to be seen in those countries.  There are some great events around the world to play.”

NOW READ: Justin Rose: British Masters deserves strong fields

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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